On Rose, Kobe and Social Media

An interesting thing happened on social media today. Nothing on a grand scale, but something that made me think…

To be fair, I first read the news on a sports app update. I glanced down at my phone while driving home to see the CBS Sports breaking news update and saw the word Rose. I knew what that meant before reading the entire update.

On my way home, I expected Twitter to be “blowing up” over the latest D-Rose setback. Opening my laptop, I was semi-right. Plenty of D-Rose tweets came through my timeline and various lists. According to Topsy.com’s search analytics site,

Topsy Derrick RoseIn the past hour (as of 9:11 am PT), there were over 66,000 tweets that contained “Derrick Rose” in them. Over 103,000 in the past day and 375,000 in the past 7 days. There are other terms I could search, but they are too generic to obtain real value (e.g. “Rose” could include someone tweeting about the flower ‘rose’. Wouldn’t work.)

As of 9:20 am PT, I checked the Chicago Bulls’ Facebook, Instagram and Google+ pages to see if they posted anything on Rose there. Nothing.

While in the process of reading Rose tweets, more news came across my timeline.

Welp. If anything was going to get people talking less about Rose, it would be Kobe Bryant re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. At 9:23 am, the talk wasn’t on Rose, it was on Kobe, according to Twitter:

Twitter trends Kobe 11-25-13“Kobe”, #Laker4Life and D.Rose all trending according to Twitter. That #Laker4Life hashtag is interesting for this reason:

Kobe shared that picture of the signature on his contract. Bryant will finish his career as a Laker.


Being the social media analytics geek that I am, I decided to compare what the Lakers did with their social media news versus what the Bulls did. Here’s what I’ve found as of 9:30 am PT (numbers subject to change due to evolving engagement numbers):

Twitter: That tweet above from the Lakers generated over 10k retweets and 4k favorites.

Facebook/Instagram: The exact same photo was posted on the Facebook and Instagram accounts of the Lakers. Do Instagram likes count as Facebook likes on Facebook posts? I’m not sure. When checking Facebook, it showed over 54k “likes” and nearly 8k “shares”.

At nearly the same time, the Instagram page showed over 63k likes. Not exactly similar numbers between the two.

Google+: I wasn’t sure if I’d find anything there after seeing the Bulls not sharing Rose news there, but sure enough, the Lakers shared the same photo there too. Interesting to note that they are in nearly 1 million circles, but only 100 people have +1’d their post so far.

G+ Lakers

In terms of Kobe Bryant, here is what I have so far:

Topsy: 61k tweets with “Kobe” in them in the past hour as of 9:40 am PT.

Topsy Kobe Bryant

Twitter: His #Lakers4Life tweet generated over 21k retweets and 14k favorites (so far).

Facebook/Instagram: Kobe did not share the photo (as of yet) on Facebook. On Instagram, however, this has 129k likes and 3k+ comments (so far).

What an HONOR. #laker4life #lakers #bussfamily #thankyou #extended

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

No Google+ page for Kobe. He is also on WhoSay (celebrity photo sharing platform) but no posts there from today. I even checked his Weibo account but nothing there either.


FINAL THOUGHTS: First, from a purely social media standpoint. Given the contrasting contexts of the news, it’s not surprising the Bulls didn’t use Instagram. As I’m typing this at 9:58 am PT, I checked the Bulls Facebook page and there is still nothing posted there. This surprises me. With nearly 10 million “Likes” on Facebook, I would have expected  some kind of update post-surgery, wouldn’t you? What type of strategy was used by the two teams? Was it solid? Effective? Same questions for Kobe?


From a sports standpoint it was a good news, bad news day for the NBA.

  • Good news that one of their superstars will continue to play for a little while, at least. Barring any injury setbacks, of course.
  • The bad news, unfortunately, is that one of their young superstars is dealt another season-ending injury. Given the duration of Rose’s last recovery time-frame from his previous ACL surgery, we are left to wonder how long it will take for him to recover mentally and physically from this latest setback. 

I think Tyson Chandler speaks for all of us:


UPDATED: Apparently, there are a few unhappy people on Kobe Bryant’s Instagram account over this contract. Enough so that Kobe had to respond in his comments section. Thanks to Larry, Nate and Kevin for the tips.


CadChica Sports

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